Saturday, December 20, 2008

Pie & Pickle

Sarah made a tasty looking apple pie today.
We got 2 big bags of apples in our CSA (community supported agriculture) box this week.
Christmas apple pie 2008

I think when we recycled our Christmas tree last year, we inadvertently recycled the "Christmas Pickle". We were in need of a replacement pickle ornament. To my surprise, pickle ornaments are not readily available. Sarah had to make one, she "felted" this one. It came out pretty slick, a happy, smiling Christmas Pickle.

This is a tradition of which i was unaware until I met Sarah. See, you hide the "Christmas Pickle" ornament in the Christmas Tree, and whoever finds it get the special prize. We have friends coming over for dinner tonight with their 2 year old daughter, we are going to set her off on a mission to find the Christmas Pickle.
Christmas Pickle

Friday, December 19, 2008

A tree grows in the condo

Christmas tree 2008
We got our christmas tree up the other day. It sat for a day undecorated, but we got everything all set up & some presents wrapped & put under it.

Let the season begin. It never really feels that much like the Holidays until the tree get put up & the smell invades the house.

So how do we think this compares with years past?
Our previous trees are below:

2007 tree

2006 tree
Christmas Tree 2006

Thursday, December 18, 2008

the pictures tell a story

We had our 20 week ultrasound last week.

We are officially half way done now. Every time we have had the ultrasound done, it never has the classic appearance you see in books and magazines. We couldn't tell what was what in these pictures. We just took the word of the person in the office that all the parts were where they were supposed to be.

I can make out a head and an arm, the rest, i dunno.



Sunday, November 23, 2008

Knitting a sweater

Sarah recently knitted a baby sweater for her friend Alex's, who is expecting a girl.

Gary was suspicious that she would complete the sweater on time for the baby shower, since Sarah has been so busy lately, but she delivered on time. Gary now eats crow.

SweaterForAlex 01

Sweater For Alex closeup

SweaterForAlex sleeve detail

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

photos in downtown los angeles

While Sarah was up in Santa Cruz visiting her dad, i spent some time wandering around downtown Los Angeles taking some photos of the buildings and seeing what else was happening. The big LA Live project is moving along. The Ritz-Carlton/JW Marriott hotel building is moving along, 50 some stories in total. It was a good day to walk around downtown, a few clouds made the photos interesting, but it was very windy. i'm glad i wasn't working the high steel on a day like that.
LA Live Tower

I found my new favorite sculpture. This is outside of the Ernst & Young Plaza on Figueroa. A nice little comment on work-life balance maybe.
Head in wall sculpture in downtown LA

There is a plaque with a poem on it in front of the sculpture.
plaque for the head in wall sculpture in downtown LA

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Palin, Halloween and Weho

The big news of the moment in West Hollywood is a Halloween display. This house is about 2 blocks from us, between our place & the grocery store we walk to sometimes. They decorate for all the holidays and other events. The house is an a main street (Fountain) and so there is visibility.

Effigy of Sarah Palin hanging by a noose creates uproar in West Hollywood
Los Angeles sheriff's officials say the Halloween display isn't a hate crime. Authorities are keeping an eye on the house to make sure the situation doesn't get out of hand.

  • By Victoria Kim, Los Angeles Times
    October 28, 2008

    A West Hollywood Halloween display showing a likeness of Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin hanging by a noose has caused a furor among some residents who reported it as a hate crime, authorities said Monday.

    But Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said the mannequin sporting a beehive hairdo, glasses and a red coat does not rise to the level of a hate crime because it was part of a Halloween display.

    "I'm not defending this; I'm not criticizing it. It doesn't rise to the level of hate crime," said Steve Whitmore, spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, who said he went out to the house himself to look at the display this morning.

    "Now, if there was a crime against bad taste . . . "

    Sgt. Kristin Aloma of the Sheriff's Department's West Hollywood station said that since Sunday she had received five to 10 calls from residents offended by the display. Officials are monitoring the house to make sure the situation doesn't get out of hand, she said.

    West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang said although he recognizes residents' right to free speech, he found the display problematic and felt it should be removed.

    "While these residents have the legal right to display Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin in effigy, I strongly oppose political speech that references violence -- real or perceived," Prang said in a statement. "I urge these residents to take down their display and find more constructive ways to express their opinion."

    Whitmore said that potential hate crimes are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. If the same display had been made of a Barack Obama-like doll, for example, authorities would have to evaluate it independently, Whitmore said.

    "That adds a whole other social, historical hate aspect to the display, and that is embedded in the consciousness of the country," he said, adding he's not sure whether it would be a hate crime. "It would be ill-advised of anybody to speculate on that."

    ChadMichael Morrisette, who lives in the house, told a local TV news crew that cars and buses have been stopping near his home and that people have been snapping photos of the Halloween display.

    The home's decorations also feature a doll of John McCain surrounded by decorative flames in the chimney, and other more typical Halloween items, such as skeletons and spider webs.

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Magic Castle birthday

    Sarah brought me to the Magic Castle for my birthday a couple weeks ago. The Magic Castle is in Hollywood and is basically a private club started by magicians and features magic acts. We ate dinner there also. It's a private club, so you either need to be a member or get an invitation from a member. We got an invitation.

    It was lots of fun, i really like the 'close up' style of magic, i find it so much fun to be amazed by something which seems like a simple trick. One of the magicians was doing a trick where he brought up 2 volunteers and counted out 10 dollar bills to one. Who then counted the money to the other, and counted 11 bills. The second volunteer counted them back, and there were 10. It when on like this for a while, great stuff.

    Last year we saw Ricky Jay at the Geffen Playhouse perform his 1 man act "Ricky Jay and his 52 Assistants". He does amazing card tricks, lots of fun also.

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    lea & gary in front of Hollywood sign

    Gary's somewhat distant relative Lea visited from Germany a few weeks back. She is off to university after her visit to the USA and wanted to see all that Los Angeles had to offer. We went all over the place, including a short hike up into the hills to get a nice Hollywood Sign background for a photo.

    Thursday, August 07, 2008

    An actual clear day in Olympia

    We visited Gary's parents in Olympia last weekend. Gary's sister Linda, niece Tabitha and nephew Gabriel were around, after having returned from Sydney. It was a fun weekend and a small family reunion of a sort.

    Surprisingly for Sarah, we could actually see Mt. Rainier from the back yard. Most of the previous trips to Olympia have been cloudy with little to no evidence of being able to see the mountain from the backyard.

    Friday, August 01, 2008

    Olympia Playlist

    We are heading up to Olympia, Washington to visit Gary's parents, sister, niece and nephew over the weekend. I thought we might need some traveling music, so I put together a playlist. There is a theme, see if you can guess it.

    Sittin In The RainThe Underdogs25 Years Of Kiwi Rock Volume 1
    Kentucky RainElvis Presley2nd To None
    Rain KingCounting CrowsAcross a Wire - Live in New York - MTV Live From the 10 Spot
    Box Of RainGrateful DeadAmerican Beauty
    Southern RainCowboy JunkiesBlack-Eyed Man
    No RainBlind MelonBlind Melon
    Naked in the RainRed Hot Chili PeppersBlood Sugar Sex Magik
    After the Rain Has FallenStingBrand New Day
    Box of RainThe Other OnesBridge School Benefit 2002
    Feels Like RainBuddy GuyBuddy's Baddest: The Best of Buddy Guy
    Another Song About The RainCrackerCracker
    Louisiana RainTom Petty & The HeartbreakersDamn the Torpedoes
    Rain When I DieAlice in ChainsDirt
    Rainy Day Women #12 & 35Bob DylanEssential Bob Dylan
    Be The RainNeil Young & Crazy HorseGreendale
    Rainy Days and MondaysCrackerIf I Were a Carpenter
    Rain ShowerOlu DaraIn the World: From Natchez to New York
    Pocketful Of RainbowsElvis PresleyJerry Maguire
    Save It For A Rainy DayThe JayhawksKFOG Live from the Archives 10
    Still Rainin'Johnny LangKFOG Live from the Archives 6
    RainPatty GriffinKFOG Live from the Archives 9
    A Little Fall Of RainFrances Ruffelle, Michael BallLes Miserables (1985 Original London Cast)
    Pencil RainThey Might Be GiantsLincoln
    Rainy Day Blues (Featuring Jonny Lang)Willie NelsonMilk Cow Blues
    I Can't Stand The RainCommitmentsMusic From The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
    Who'll stop the rainBruce SpringsteenNew York City Night June 26, 1993
    After the RainOttmar LiebertNouveau Flamenco 1990-2000 Special Edition
    It's Rainin' AgainTom Petty & The HeartbreakersPlayback CD4: The Other Sides
    RainThe CultPure Cult: The Singles 1984-1995
    Purple RainPrincePurple Rain
    Iko IkoThe Belle StarsRain Man Soundtrack
    Blue Eyes Crying In The RainWillie NelsonRed Headed Stranger (remastered)
    Red RainPeter GabrielShaking the Tree: Sixteen Golden Greats
    Rain JamG. Love & Special SauceThe Electric Mile
    Easy As The RainThe Little WilliesThe Little Willies
    RainbowG. Love & Jack JohnsonThicker Than Water
    The Sun And The RainMadnessTotal Madness: The Very Best of Madness
    Pouring RainFishboneTruth and Soul
    RainRusted RootWhen I Woke
    Looks Like RainGrateful DeadWithout a Net
    Shadows In The RainPoliceZenyatta Mondatta

    Friday, July 11, 2008

    How does a key break?

    One benefit of living in a condo with a good security set up is that you need keys to get into the hallways or elevator. One drawback of this is that if anything goes unexpectedly, you are in trouble.

    Well, my key broke... snapped in two the other morning. No real warning here either... they pattern for this key has one big notch in it, some might call it a weak spot. So I was locked out in the morning, after returning for the gym... with Sarah already having left for work... with no way to get to our front door....

    Luckily a neighbor was home who saved me.
    Honestly... when does a key snap in half?

    Thursday, July 10, 2008

    Busy week of shows

    We have had a busy week of going to shows.

    On Tuesday we went to our first show of the season at the Hollywood Bowl: Carmina Burana. It's a very commonly used dramatic classical work which appears in tons of movies, tv shows and commercials. We kept getting the name wrong (carmono burano, cabana banana, Carmen Miranda, etc), my favorite version of the name was "Captain Banana".

    We sat up higher at the Hollywood Bowl than we had before and noticed that you can see both the Hollywood Sign and the Ford Theatre from the cheap seats, quite a nice view. We had a great time at the show, but the strangest part was that right at the beginning of the main piece there were a few clouds in the sky and it actually rained lightly for about 10 minutes. Amazing... the absolute last thing we expected. It never rains in July here.
    HollywoodBowl 2008-07-08 002

    Then on Wednesday we went to The Drowsy Chaperone downtown at the Ahmanson. It's a "musical within a comedy".

    Neither of us had a good idea what to expect and had not read up on the story. We really had a great time though and enjoyed the play thoroughly. A hilarious musical with some good songs also. A little bit for everyone, highly recommended.

    Monday, July 07, 2008

    Our fancy and comfy new chair!

    Our fancy and comfy new chair! We wanted something comfy and bright, and we ended up with a yellow chair.

    we looked all over the place, up, down and around and got ourselves a new chair for our main room. It was delivered last week.

    After covering the furniture places near us, we ended up driving WAY down, "behind the Orange Curtain", to the only Room & Board store in Southern California, in Costa Mesa. The store is great, prices are competitive, the selection is broad and to our liking, and you can change fabric easily and for little additional cost. At some places we wanted to change fabric the cost doubled! Madness. They deliver for cheap also, which meant only one drive to Orange county required, sweet!

    a published photographer

    Most of the photos I post onto Flickr I give a Creative Commons license to, which basically makes them free to use by anyone, they just need to attribute the photo to me. I figure if someone can use a photo I took for something interesting, more power to them.

    Recently one of the photos Sarah took of the gates out in front of the Palace of Versailles was used in an online article at

    Sarah is now an officially published photographer!


    Monday, June 23, 2008

    trip to cambria

    We went up to Cambria & Paso Robles over the weekend with friends Ryan & Nate. The central coast area has lots of great wineries, specializing in zinfandels, of which we liberally sampled. Hearst Castle is just up the road, and there was an organized bike ride which I joined on Saturday; 50 miles up and down highway 1. The weather was perfect for riding, but 100+ degrees in Paso Robles when we were at the wineries.

    We stayed right on the coastal Moonstone drive in Cambria. The views from the hotel were great as were those from the beach boardwalk. The sunsets were amazing, all us tourists would be outside to check out the colors in the sky, typically with a glass of the local wine in hand. As you can see below I have mastered the self timer feature on our camera to get a nice shot of Sarah and I with the sunset in the background.

    Nate had a new camera and was trying to get some real nice shots of the sunsets, venturing down on the rocks for the best view. They had to do battle with the other photographers on the rocks to get the best shots. It looked like the tide was coming in, we stayed on the boardwalk.

    I put a few more photos of our trip on Flickr.

    Friday, June 13, 2008

    A Chorus Line

    We went to A Chorus Line at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown LA on Friday night. It was a good show, we watched the movie (with Michael Douglas) a few weeks ago, the stage production is better. Anyway, the signature song "Singular Sensation" is about the most addictive song which you can be exposed to, it just gets stuck in your head. And the Finale is pretty famous also.

    I found a video of the finale being performed on the 2007 Tony Awards on youtube here. I thought I would share the love and get the song stuck in everyone else's heads also. enjoy.

    the economic stimulus has arrived!

    we got our economic stimulus check in the mail the other day. Let me tell you this is going to help us make ends meet and bring the economy out of the slump it is in. Wowee, almost $32.

    Leadership and creative problem solving by the feds as usual.

    Thursday, June 12, 2008

    modernica warehouse

    We went to the Modernica warehouse sale over the weekend, looking at furniture. It was kind of a madhouse. Sarah's co-workers had clued us in to the sale. They had tons of stuff, their big seller are these fiberglass chairs in any color under the rainbow, as seen in the picture.

    Wednesday, June 04, 2008

    Bill & Mindy got married

    Last weekend we went to Bill & Mindy's wedding (Sarah's uncle). It was in Lake Elsinore at Mindy's brother's lakefront house. Wonderful setting and a beautiful sunny day.

    Here is Mindy coming down the 'aisle' escorted by her kids. We had front row seats, which granted us a great view of the back of Bill's head, the ceremony was charming and personal.

    The reception was at the same place. All the relatives came for the wedding, there was a nice spread of drinks, BBQ and a tasty cake. A 2 person band played all the hits, allowing Francine & Martha to dance. Francine, being a former hippie, still dances like one.

    Wednesday, May 28, 2008

    Memorial Day in DC

    We went to Washington DC for Memorial Day weekend.
    The weather was just about perfect, sunny and mid 80s each day. We were a bit scared, imagining the horribly hot and humid weather DC is known for.
    We saw lots of monuments and museums. Went to a Nationals and an Orioles game (we drove to Baltimore for the day). Baltimore has a pretty good Aquarium, close to the Camden Yards, fyi.

    We learned a couple things:
    • There are lots of lines in DC. You gotta get used to lining up & standing for a bit.
    • The Metro works pretty well there, we went all over on it. It appears to be the same infrastructure (train cars, gates, etc) as San Francisco's BART.
    • Memorial Day weekend is when the annual biker rally takes place in DC. There are thousands of bikers and Harleys everywhere around the mall. It is not quiet since "loud pipes save lives".

    Here I am in front of the Washington Monument.
    WashingtonDCMay2008 2008-05-24 010

    And here we are at the brand new "Nationals Stadium" to see the Brewers vs the Nationals. They are called the "Nats" for short, which really just sounds wrong.
    WashingtonDCMay2008 2008-05-23 014

    Saturday, May 10, 2008

    the decision is final

    we bit the bullet and got a new couch last weekend. It was delivered this week. We finally decided on a dark brown one - thanks everyone for the input.

    We went with Plummers as the store. They have pretty good stuff, generally in a style that we like, and their prices are pretty good. We did see some nice pieces of furniture from other places for the same price as a nice used car, some day maybe.

    It's pretty nice having the room to stretch out, we were kinda cramped on the loveseat before.

    the old couch is on craigslist as we speak, act fast if you need one.

    Thursday, May 08, 2008

    a workout toy & weekly ride around Griffith Park

    I got a new toy recently, REI was having one of their annual sales and i got a Garmin Forerunner 305. This is a GPS enabled workout computer, used for runners and cyclists. It tracks your route, speed, gps coordinates, heart rate and all sorts of other stuff. Its got all kinds of features and toys. The part i find most interesting i the mapping feature, so you can see where you have been.

    Basically since we have lived in LA, I have gone on a weekly ride around Griffith Park with the 'East Side Posse". These are riders loosely affiliated with with the AIDS LifeCycle ride and use this as a weekly training ride for the annual 7 day, 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. I come along for entertainment, one day I will do the big ride, for now I donate to a few of them, it's a great cause, contribute to someone, it will make you feel good. They start the ride on June 1st.

    This new workout thing tracks all sorts of stuff, and when you are done you sync with the computer & you can upload & share your rides. Here is the route I take from home through the park, 23 miles round trip with 1800 feet elevation gain.

    View Larger Map

    Some stats about the trip. The overall time is a little distorted, we stop to make sure we don't lose anyone, and i ride over to meet up with everyone,and we drink coffee afterward... its a social ride, not a race.

    Total Time (h:m:s)3:01:248:11 pace
    Moving Time (h:m:s)1:37:294:23 pace
    Distance (mi )22.16
    Moving Speed (mph)13.6 avg.39.4 max.
    Elevation Gain (ft)+1,932 / -1,897
    Avg. Heart Rate143 bpmZone 3.8
    Temperature (°F)57.2°F avg.57.2°F high

    Wednesday, April 30, 2008

    which is the couch to beat?

    we finally decided that our loveseat couch is too small. we need a couch for grownups.

    picking out furniture always seems to be a torturous process, deciding on style, size, shape, pattern, color, cost. and the couch issue is kind of like when i was looking at getting a new bike; what i like and what i would like to spend seem to be 2 very different things. I wish i just had cheap taste, we could pick up a new couch at the Living Spaces monster store and be done with it. But that is not the case.

    So we gotta decide. we like leather, we've got an idea of size & style, sorta. Now color and price seem to be the biggest stumbling blocks. Maybe technology will come to our rescue. I took some photos and did a cheap & dirty job of superimposing different colored couches into the room. Comment on the options below:

    "pick all new other furniture" is not a valid suggestion, we're only getting a couch right now.

    Dark Brown

    Light Brown

    Beige / White


    Monday, April 28, 2008

    paris part II

    A follow up to the original post about our Paris vacation. We got all the photos sorted through, here is a selection.

    At the Arc de Triumphe, surrounded by the largest traffic circle in the world. Crazy drivers, but it looks pretty good in the light of the sun setting.

    Here we are in the Musee D'Orsay, with out iPod headphones on, listening to a little commentary on the place. The building was a train station before becoming a museum 20 years ago. The collection is overwhelming, the building impressive.

    Sarah in front of the massive Monet Waterlily paintings which surround two separate rooms in the Musée de l’Orangerie in the Tuilleries garden.

    And all the rest of the photos on Flickr

    Thursday, April 24, 2008

    Little Armenia

    I went to go pick up my car for service today at Hollywood Ford, which is basically in Little Armenia in Los Angeles. There are many Armenian immigrants in LA, Glendale has I believe the largest Armenian population of anywhere other than Armenia. What I failed to realize was that today is the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, and the official march was in Little Armenia.
    Armenian drivers

    On the commemoration day, people decorate their cars with Armenian flags. Sadly, the first time I saw this I had not idea which country's flag this was and figured some big soccer match or something must have been won and people were celebrating. Now I know.

    The Armenians have done well in Los Angeles, here was a big Rolls Royce Phantom decked out in Armenian flags... probably a $300,000 car. I hope those flags don't scratch the paint.
    Armenian drivers

    Thursday, April 17, 2008

    road bikin'

    After having an old road bike in a non-working state for months, I finally bit the bullet and got a new (to me) road bike. The old Cannondale had done me well for a long time, but pretty much everything was starting to wear out, and the minor eccentricities of it had started to grate on me.

    You can spend as much as you feel like it on a bike these days, and being of a frugal mindset, i wanted a good deal. I monitored craigslist and ebay... and eventually got this Scattante (performance bike's in house brand) with nice 10 speed ultegra components and everything. All I had to to was battle rush hour LA traffic to get there.

    So that's the new ride. I will probably take it out for a good distance jaunt this weekend.

    Wednesday, April 16, 2008

    paris part I

    Our trip to Paris was great!

    we tried to see all the main sites, and do a good job of following the "must see while in paris" lists. We walked ourselves tired each day, got to know the Metro system fairly well and shivered in the non-Socal weather. There will be a Paris part II posting later, when Sarah gets back from the germany/work part of the trip.

    some of the highlights were going to the palace and gardens of Versailles, the Eiffel Tower (of course), the Louvre, the Musee D'Orsey (probably our favorite museum of the trip), Sacre Couer Basilica, the Arc de Triumphe, the Pompidou Centre, Cathedral of Notre Dame, St. Sulpice chapel and too many more to keep track of.

    The collections of the museums in Paris are just stunning. For example; in most museums, of they even have a Van Gogh painting it is a star of their collection and is called out in all materials. At the Musee D'Orsey, there is an entire gallery of Van Goghs, 4 of which would be considered some of his key works, included in about every article written on him. Kinda blows your mind.

    I had collected and downloaded a bunch of audio walking tours and audio guides of things in Paris for our iPods before we left. I had done this before for some walking tours in Sydney, and I thought it might work well for Paris. It really is a nice way to be a tourist.
    1. It's cheaper & faster than getting audio tours everywhere you go.

    2. You look less like a tourist, but you do look like some sort of aloof american who wants to listen to their iPod more than see the sites.

    3. The walking tours bring you to places you may not have visited.

    4. It gives you some additional flexibility when touring: you can go in whatever order you want, people can navigate at their own pace... all good stuff.

    Some of the tours we enjoyed were:
    • Rick Steves audio tours - free! for both France & Italy

    • Tourcaster - the Rick Steves guides were a bit more polished, but there is a far larger selection of the tours on Tourcaster... and they are worldwide. These are what I had picked up for Sydney.

    and fyi - the Paris Playlist worked well... Sarah was less excited about the Jimmy Buffett inclusions, but overall it was good.

    Monday, April 07, 2008

    paris playlist

    We leave for Paris tomorrow. For the trip i decided to make a playlist for our iPods. I tried to find typically "frenchy" music. It was kind of fun, hunting around. I bought a few songs off Amazon, now that they offer DRM free mp3 songs. Some of the songs we already had, and Les gave helping hand. I also drew from a couple of similar playlists I found;
    * Postcards from the Trail
    * The Best Trip Ever

    I've got a whole pile of stuff in here, I tried to be a bit eclectic, but still include music which was familiar. So here we are, the playlist for Paris.
    1Madeleine PeyrouxYou're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You GoCareless Love
    2Edith PiafLa Vie En RoseLa Vie En Rose
    3Shawn ColvinYou And The Mona LisaA Few Small Repairs
    4Pink MartiniVeroniqueHang on Little Tomato
    5Eartha KittUnder the Bridges of ParisThat Bad Eartha
    6baguette quartette en doucePutumayo Presents French Cafe
    7Diana KrallLet's Fall in LoveLive in Paris
    8Paris ComboTouriste d'une VieMotifs
    9Nat King ColeMona Lisa (2003 Digital Remaster)The World Of Nat King Cole - His Very Best
    10Pink MartiniSympathiqueSympathique
    11Toots ThielemansSous Le Ciel De Paris (Live)Chez Toots
    12Paris ComboRefletMotifs
    13Feist1234The Reminder
    14Toots ThielemansNe Me Quitte PasChez Toots
    15Edith PiafL'EtrangerLa Vie En Rose
    16georges brassens je m'suis fait tout petitPutumayo Presents French Cafe
    17Lee PhillipsMona Lisa - GrantKFOG Live from the Archives 11 (Disc 1)
    18Diana KrallMaybe You'll Be ThereLive in Paris
    19CamilleLe FestinRatatouille
    20Jimmy BuffettLast Mango In ParisMeet Me In Margaritaville (Disc 1)
    21Toots ThielemansLa Vie En RoseChez Toots
    22Eartha KittJe Cherche Un HommeSomething's Gotta Give
    23Toots ThielemansMoulin Rouge (Live)Chez Toots
    24Count BasieApril In ParisVerve's Grammy Winners
    25jane birkin elaeudanla téïtéïaPutumayo Presents French Cafe
    26Louis ArmstrongLa Vie En RoseThe Essence Of Louis Armstrong
    27Madeleine PeyrouxJ'Ai Deux AmoursCareless Love
    28Diana KrallI've Got You Under My SkinLive in Paris
    29Ella FitzgeraldI Love ParisThe Complete Songbooks: The Cole Porter Songbook- Disc 2
    30Paris ComboHigh, Low, InMotifs
    31Jimmy BuffettHe Went To ParisMeet Me In Margaritaville (Disc 2)
    32polo la fée clochettePutumayo Presents French Cafe
    33Toots ThielemansFor My LadyChez Toots
    34Paris ComboEtoile PâleMotifs
    35Grateful DeadFranceShakedown Street
    36sanseverino mal ô mainsPutumayo Presents French Cafe
    37Nat King ColeDarling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup (2003 Digital Remaster)The World Of Nat King Cole - His Very Best
    38Madeleine PeyrouxDon't Wait Too LongKFOG Live from the Archives 12
    39Etta JamesThere Is No Greater LoveBlue Gardenia
    40Diana KrallDevil May CareLive in Paris
    41mathieu boogaerts onduléPutumayo Presents French Cafe
    42Edith PiafJ'Ai Dansè Avec L'AmourLa Vie En Rose
    43Pink MartiniDansez-vousHang on Little Tomato
    44Madeleine PeyrouxDance Me to the End of LoveCareless Love
    45Eartha KittC'est Si Bon (It's So Good)That Bad Eartha
    46Madeleine PeyrouxCareless LoveCareless Love
    47Geno Delafose and French Rockin BoogieBye Bye Mon NegPutumayo Presents: Zydeco
    48Pink MartiniAutrefoisHang on Little Tomato
    49Paris ComboAquariumMotifs
    50Charlie ParkerApril In ParisBird: The Original Recordings of Charlie Parker
    51barbara si la photo est bonnePutumayo Presents French Cafe

    Friday, April 04, 2008

    Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

    We got rhubarb and strawberries, among other things, in our CSA box this week. I had been wanting to make a strawberry-rhubarb crisp for a while, and this was the perfect opportunity. Sarah had claimed to be no fan of rhubarb, but strawberry-rhubarb anything is a whole different thing - the tartness is gone from the rhubarb with the included strawberries.

    My mom used to make lots of peach, and blackberry, as well as strawberry-rhubarb cobblers and crisps, especially in the summer. I think I prefer a crisp to a cobbler these days, the crunch is nice. Some time ago I made a fig-raspberry crisp which was great, i made a cranberry-cherry crumble also, which was not so hot.

    I used a combination of my grandmother's recipe from the "Minnaert family cookbook" and a recipe from Emeril.

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Easter in Boulder Creek

    We visited sarah's dad while up in Santa Cruz for Easter. We all went to lunch in Boulder Creek. They have a quaint downtown area, somewhat typical of the mountain towns around the area, the place has a bit of charm. The weather was gorgeous in the bay area, which we kind of find a surprise now. Especially when we visit Santa Cruz, we expect to freeze.

    Alan had a couple of his old business cards laying around. I thought they were pretty cool, a little sketch he did of himself along with his calligraphic name.

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    Fon, Fonera, Fonero

    I've become more and more interested in this idea of free wifi access in cities and communities. The large city efforts to provide free wifi (San Francisco, etc.) have all stalled, but a couple startup companies have begun wireless efforts in a bottom-up fashion. The idea being that you share your internet connection where you live, and then when you go somewhere, others return the favor. Thinking of the internet a community asset, then everyone should have access wherever they roam.

    I looked around a bit, and ended up signing up with Fon, and getting a "Fonera+" wireless router. Fon is a Spanish company that is growing in Europe ("we are HUGE in Europe!!"). They also have started an effort also to provide wireless access to the Castro District in San Francisco. The router sets up 2 wireless access points to your internet connection: a private one which is password secured, just like your normal wireless router, and then a public access point, which does not have a password and anyone can use.

    The access points are completely separate, and you can decide how much bandwidth you wanna give to the general public, in case someone tries downloading entire movies and brings your network to a grinding halt. Most people are not using all their available bandwidth anyway, so if you share a little here and there, it doesn't impact your daily life.

    So this is my little project lately. If anyone is interested, as a "Fonero" (the term for people signed up with Fon), I can give out gift certificate things so you can get a Fonera router for cheap. Lemme know and I will forward the invite.

    a couple of pics of the fon equipment:

    La Fonera+ & La Fontenna connected to network
    Fon La Fonera+ router and La Fontenna. You don't have to get the big antenna (La Fontenna) pictured here, but it improves range.

    La Fonera+ and La Fontenna box
    Fon La Fonera+ router and La Fontenna

    Wednesday, March 19, 2008

    Runyan Canyon, LACMA + gary's parents

    Gary's parents visited for a couple days from Palm Springs a week ago. They wanted to check out the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum building at LACMA. They sent out some photos... I figured I would share some.

    Runyan Canyon Mom AND Dad
    Mom and Dad did a hike in Runyan Canyon Park. You can walk here from our condo, it's maybe a mile away.

    Runyan Canyon Hollywood sign
    The park is pretty close to the Hollywood Sign. It is also the local dog park. Mom + Dad were surprised to see so many young people in the park during the middle of the day. We informed them, "those are actors."

    Runyan Canyon view of downtown LA
    At Runyan Canyon park they got some good views & photos of downtown Los Angeles, with a little smog.

    LACMA streetlights
    We all met up for lunch at LACMA, then checked out the new building & entry. This is street light sculpture out front of LACMA

    LACMA firetruck
    The fire truck outside the entry pavilion.

    LACMA tulips
    The Tulips sculpture by jeff koons in the entry pavilion.